Monday, July 21, 2008

Crawling Out Of A Time Warp~~

Ever feel like you're walking around in someone else's body, or living out some movie or soap opera that isn't your life at all? That's how this summer has been for me. I was walking around in Target a couple of weeks ago and realized that the whole world was going on around me, but I somehow wasn't a part of it. I could see other shoppers, and browse the aisles, but it was as if I wasn't really there. In a bubble I was, so wrapped up in things that weren't 'normal' for me that I felt totally alien with the rest of the world.

Like a kid, I counted the days until school would be out so I could get on with my summer plans, and they were many. Well, you know what's said about "the best laid plans....". The day after school let out my brother came to town to help me pack up my mom's apartment, as she'd moved into assisted living. (Lots of Mom stress over the past 9 months--both physical and moving issues-- had already contributed much to making me crazy.) Somehow I'd convinced myself that it wouldn't be all that hard, but OH MY, how we do accumulate stuff. We worked our tails off.... we threw, we donated, we moved, we put into storage, and we also put into our garage. Of course, all this brought great angst to my mom, which trickled down to me. My feet got so swollen that I had to loosen the straps on my Birks by two holes, which has never happened before. I guess it was stress, as it went away and hasn't come back, but at the time I was wondering if I was gearing up for the Big One.

Next up, my oldest son had surgery on his knee to repair a torn ACL and whatever else he damaged. This was planned, but it's a painful surgery and slow recovery, and it's always tough to see someone you care about so miserable. These ordeals are never easy for a mom.

Now it's my turn to visit the doctor. Thinking I haven't had a check-up for two years (and having not been sick haven't even seen a doctor in as long) I thought it was about time. Once I got there I found out it's actually been three years. Bad girl, me. Anyway, as much as I hate the whole process, things are going along quite swimmingly until the Doc asks me one of those "girly" questions, and she isn't fond of the answer. (Shoulda kept my big mouth shut!!) Next thing I know, she's scheduled me for a pelvic ultrasound. Ever had one of those? If not, you should... just for the sheer fun of it. Let me give you a little hint: it's both external AND internal. Are ya with me here?? And it lasts quite a while... very thorough, let me tell you. Let's just say he left no stone unturned.
Other results that I'd already gotten back were all good, and I wasn't all that concerned about the untrasound until after I'd had it, and then panic set in. Fear of the unknown grabbed me and twisted me into knots. I'm usually not like that, and I still can't explain it, except that maybe it was the straw that broke the camels back. I'd reached my limit of stress and anxiety, and this last thing just knocked me off my feet. So, four days later when I went in for the results, having her refer me to an OB/GYN for a biopsy really sent me into a tailspin.
And it's the waiting that's the worst. Eight days until the next appointment. And now, lets insert company. My sweet dad, who hasn't been to visit in a few years because he was caring for his wife who had Alzheimers, is coming to spend time with my brother and his family, and with us. He was with us for ten days, and I'd been so excited to have him come, but having this medical stuff weighing on me made me less that a good hostess. I felt bad, and I tried so hard, but I just couldn't be me. First, I hadn't been sleeping. Would wake up between three and four EVERY morning, and that was it. No more sleepy-bye for me. So I was exhausted. Next, I lost my appetite (which never happens!!), so cooking was torture, and forcing myself to eat was worse. Bleck. Luckily, Dad is very understanding.
Fast forward eight days, and OB Dr. had no interest in doing a biopsy, but instead thought a D&C might be fun for me. Okay, so now I would wait nine more days for that. I had no idea what a big deal they are... actually considered "surgery". Most have general anesthesia when having one done, which is my WORST FEAR IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. "If I have to rip my hair out by the roots and bite on a silver bullet, there is no way they are putting me to sleep for this. No way, no how!!!" So, the very kind and gentle anesthesiologist and my Dr. decide to try it with just sedation, and if that doesn't work, then a spinal. I've never had anything that even resembled high blood pressure, but at the hospital before this little event it was right up there! Scared, me was. And for the life of me I don't know why. It wasn't all that bad, and quite honestly, I didn't expect it to be. After the procedure, the Dr. told me I was tougher than she was. **Pat self on back** However, I did "come to" a little a couple of times during the whole process, and when I did I felt some pretty red-hot pain. Doc said I "squirmed" a little bit a few times.
(This cutie dragonfly spent the afternoon dangling from the overhang of my house.)

Well, I was hoping to get to wait at least another four days for the pathology results, but oddly enough they came back in two, and I'm thankful to say everything is good. No bad cells at all, and I've had my post-op appointment and am done with that for the summer. I thought I'd feel better instantly, but it didn't work that way. (This whole time all of the things that are usually fun for me were not. I did nothing that I usually do: no knitting, no blogging, no on-the-patio sitting. The only thing I did for entertainment was Sudoku puzzles, and I did dozens of them.) Five days later I realized I was starting to feel like myself again, and was enjoying doing things around the house and had plans for some fun computer and knitting stuff later in the day.

And then the phone rang.........

That morning my younger son had left with a group of friends and the leader of a youth center here in town to attend Sonshine, a Christian music festival. On the way home, he would be dropped off near Minneapolis and wait to be picked up by one of the youth leaders from our church on the way to a short-term mission trip to the inner city. It was a trip for middle schoolers, and Nathan was going to be one of the leaders. He's such an exhuberant kid, and was so excited about these two simultaneous trips.

Anyway, the phone told me it was Nathan calling, but another voice asked for me (heart starting to beat faster now) and told me that Nath seemed to be having some kind of a seizure, and asked if he'd ever had one before. (NO!!) He told me Nath was coming around, but was unable to tell him his moms name (WHAT!!!) and didn't know where he was or where he was going. And he seemed to have stopped breathing for a while. (Now I'm feeling like my heart may just stop completely.) He's over 100 miles from home, and will be taken by ambulance back to Fargo, which is 75 miles from where we live.

I couldn't even string a sentence together when I called my husband, but managed to say, "Something's happened to Nathan, you have to come home." Minutes later he's home, and we hit the road for Fargo. I felt so bad that Nath would be there all alone, but when we arrived there were six of his friends waiting for us. Nathan had been riding with the leader, and that vehicle came back, along with another one with several of his best friends.

Again we feel very blessed, as this turned out to be not nearly as bad as it seemed to be, or could have been. What happened was he "passed out with seizure-like symptoms". There's a medical name for it, but that's what it means. And here's why it happened: First, Nathan had only gotten about two hours of sleep the night before. He gets too excited and just can't sleep when he's looking forward to something special. Second, he had donated plasma that morning, which depleted his blood volume. And third, when they stopped for lunch in Fargo he sprinted about six blocks in the heat right after eating to get a magazine at Barnes & Noble. When they picked him up, he "went right to sleep", or more than likely passed out. About 30 miles out of town the seizure-like symptoms started. The doctor said it's not all that uncommon, but I've never heard of such a thing. They did do a CAT scan and run all the other tests to be sure. The tests confirmed that the Dr. was right, and it had not been a seizure. Nathan came home with us and missed the music festival, but he's gone again now! He left with the group from church yesterday on the mission trip!
(Jayda thought this little "triangle" of shade was just right for an afternoon nap!!)

So, the beautiful summer days have passed, but in a way that didn't seem real, and now I'm less than a month away from going back to school. But that's okay. I'm just thankful that things are starting to settle down, and I'm looking forward to enjoying the rest of my break. One of my favorite things to do is sit out on my patio, which is where I am right now. It's a perfect evening, and I think I shall go in and get my knitting....

7 comments:

Bubblesknits said...

Oh my gosh, Alana! You poor thing! It sounds like you need a pampering day at the spa before you go back to school.

Channon said...

Bless your heart! What a summer it's been. It will be great to get back to the kids and routine, eh? (Although I have to tell you I was ready to choke you for all of those pretty photos inserted along the way that delayed my reading ever so slightly...)

Wendy said...

Oh my Alana! That's a LOT for one person to take in such a short amount of time. You're one tough cookie to even make it through all of that!

KSee said...

OMG, that is too much to have happen in such a short span of time. I'm so glad it is over and you have a few weeks to re-group.

Grace Yaskovic said...

I always worry about you when we don't here from you for awhile but I had no idea you were going through so much. Know my parayers are with you and your family, and I wish you a peaceful month ahead. Hugs 0-X Grace

Rachel said...

Wow. If you still have your sanity at this point, I'm in awe! I certainly hope that the last month of your summer break is relaxing and stress free. It sounds like you desperately need it. (btw--am very glad to hear that your son ended up being okay and that all your tests/procedures came out alright...at least there is some peace of mind on those issues!).

Alaina said...

OMG! I was wondering where you've been.

Reading about Nathan had tears running down my face...so glad all turned out well....

I can relate with some of what your summer has been...I had a pelvic ultrasound in June, a biopsy in July...and surgery is scheduled for August....They wanted to do a hysterectomy...but, It is too soon till the start of school...so they are doing a procedure called ..."something ablation"...I too am terrified of being put out...

E-mail me if you get a chance...

You are in my prayers :)

{{{big hugs}}}

~alaina

alaina.privette@gmail.com